If you have never played the great game of soccer before, you really might want to consider giving it a try. Soccer is a really fun sport that everybody can play, it can be played pretty much anywhere, and it doesn’t cost much to play either. There are so many different benefits of soccer that you will want to play it all day long. Not only is it a fun sport to play that lets you socialize with others, but it is also fantastic for your muscle health, heart health, bone strength, your mental state, and so much more. Keep reading this article on the 9 benefits of soccer to get an idea of just how good this sport is for you!
Benefit #1: Get A Good Cardio Workout
A really big benefit that you can get from playing soccer is a good workout for your heart and lungs. Playing soccer gives you an excellent cardiovascular workout, after all, the majority of the sport involves running back on forth on a giant field for 90 minutes.
It is shown that on average a soccer player will run anywhere from 7 to 12 kilometers during a game, making for a good workout indeed. If you’ve ever played soccer, even just for 20 minutes, you know that it will have you sweating, with your heart pumping, and your lungs working overtime.
Of course, getting a good cardio workout is extremely important for many different reasons. First off, the more you work out your lungs and heart, the more efficient they get. After all these things are muscles and the more you train them, the stronger they will get with time.
Funny enough, playing soccer regularly will help you play soccer better in the future because as your heart gets stronger it can pump more blood to your extremities in the same amount of time as before. The more blood and oxygen get pumped to all of the parts of your body, such as your muscles, the better they function, thus allowing you to play for longer without getting tired.
Of course, better cardiovascular health also brings other benefits along with it such as the reduced chance of heart disease, getting rid of plaque buildup in the arteries, and controlling blood pressure too. In the long run, something as simple as playing soccer a few times per week can improve your heart health and have you living a long and healthy life.
Benefit #2: Anyone Can Do It
One of the great things about soccer is that anyone can play it. Soccer is a fantastic sport for boys and girls, plus the young and old too. Literally anyone can play soccer because you don’t have to be a professional playing for a national team. There are tons of leagues out there where amateurs and beginners can play just for fun so even if you aren’t that good you can still find somewhere to play.
Even better is that you don’t even have to play on a gender specific team because there are many different co-ed teams out there, plus there are even soccer teams for physically handicapped people too. Unlike many other sports where you have to be a pro or be rich to play, soccer doesn’t require that. On that same note, soccer is a fairly inexpensive sport to play and it certainly doesn’t require a gym membership.
Once again, sure you could join a league and buy a uniform plus a pair of cleats, but even that isn’t all that expensive. Moreover, you can play soccer for free with a group of friends and all you need is a field and a ball. As long as you have a bunch of friends and a ball you don’t even need to pay to join a league. We also really like the fact that soccer is a great game to play if you want to be with your family more. There is nothing better than playing some ball with your kids!
Benefit #3: Improve Your Coordination
Another big benefit that you can reap from playing soccer on the regular is that you can greatly increase you foot-eye coordination. Soccer involves several complex motions such as dribbling the ball with your feet, making passes, receiving passes, shooting the ball, hitting the ball with your head, and much more.
Like with many other things, your foot-eye coordination can be trained simply by doing these things over and over again. In essence, playing soccer will make you better at soccer over time. You know what they say, practice makes perfect.
Not only is better foot-eye coordination valuable for a good game of soccer, but it also helps you out in your daily life too. Think about it, mostly everything you do involves a certain amount of foot-eye coordination, so the more you play soccer to improve your coordination, the easier your daily life will be.
Benefit #4: Increase You Endurance
As we mentioned before, playing soccer increases your cardiovascular health, and along with that, your endurance will also increase drastically. You see, the more you work out your heart and lungs, the more efficiently they can function to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body. Your muscles need oxygen and blood to function properly, so the more they get, the longer and harder they can work without getting tired.
This is due to a combination of reasons, one of which is your aerobic capacity. The higher your aerobic capacity is the more oxygen your lungs can take in, process, and deliver to your body, something which is very important if you want to be able to finish a 90-minute game. On that same note, an increased aerobic capacity also means that your muscles have an increased ability to absorb and use oxygen to keep going, not to mention that your heart gets that oxygen to your muscles without having to work so hard either.
Not only is this great for the game of soccer itself, but this increased aerobic capacity will also translate into making your life a lot easier from general. More oxygen being utilized efficiently by your body will make everything from walking up stairs to playing with your kids much more enjoyable and easier too.
Benefit #5: Better Teamwork & Sportsmanship
Something else that is fantastic about soccer is that it really helps to build your social skills and help you work better with other people. Simply put, being on a team with other people helps you learn social abilities and socializing, something which is very important when it comes to making friends and building connections in life.
Being on a team like a soccer team teaches you to work with people and function as a unit, and as we all know, a big part of life involves working with others to be successful in pretty much anything you do. Another part of playing on a team and competing against others also teaches sportsmanship.
It takes a big and mature person to lose a game and still hold your head high, but it takes an even bigger person to win a game and still remain cool without rubbing it in the losers’ faces. In essence, playing on a soccer team makes you a more mature person. It takes a mature and team-oriented person to make friends and even more important, it takes a team-oriented person to do things like getting a good job.
Soccer is also fantastic for things like developing a solid ethic in terms of playing fair as well as having to constantly train to get better. Plus it is also a great way to learn leadership skills, both things which are very important if you plan on being successful in life.
Benefit #6: Increased Strength
Something else that is very beneficial about soccer is that it increases your overall strength. Running for 90 minutes is fantastic for your legs and will tone them like almost nothing else can. Then there is the fact that soccer involves kicking as hard as you can plus a lot of jumping too, both things which make your legs stronger.
Then there is also the fact that you hit the ball with your head pretty often, something which engages your core, back, and chest muscles too. Therefore, not only is soccer a great way to increase your cardiovascular health but also to increase your muscle strength too. Having stronger muscles will benefit you in a great number of ways and will work to make everyday tasks much easier.
Benefit #7: Weight Control
Another great benefit to be reaped from playing soccer regularly is that it will help you lose weight and keep it off. Soccer is a great form of cardiovascular exercise that involves both aerobic and anaerobic activity, all of which are fantastic for losing weight. All of that running, jumping, kicking, and everything else that soccer involves goes a really long way in burning calories and fat.
Running around for 90 minutes definitely burns calories, and if you haven’t eaten very much food before your big game, you will end up burning a bunch of body fat. There is also the fact that this kind of intense exercise revs up your metabolism and also affects your exercise post oxygen consumption. In other words, a game of soccer increases your metabolic rate both during and after the game. Thus helping you to burn body fat and keep it off with ease.
Benefit #8: Increase Your Bone Strength
The next benefit that you will get from playing soccer on a regular basis is increased bone strength. Like we have mentioned before, pretty much everything in your body benefits from training, and that includes the strength and density of your bones. Weight bearing exercises are fantastic for increasing the health of your bones.
Soccer is a weight bearing exercise because you run around for 90 minutes, which means that you are holding yourself up with your legs. Holding up your own weight forces your bones to produce more bone mass, thus getting bigger, thicker, and denser in the process. Better bone health is crucial, especially in your old age because it helps prevent brittle bones that are prone to breaking, plus it helps prevent degenerative bone diseases too.
Benefit #9: Better Cognitive Function & Increased Moods
Playing soccer all of the time also has several mental benefits, one of which being better moods and the ability to deal with anxiety and depression much better. As you may know, physical exercise causes your brain to release certain chemicals, those being mainly serotonin as well as various endocannabinoids.
The more you exercise the more of those chemicals are produced by your brain. Serotonin is a feel happy chemical that has the ability to make you feel happier, more elated, and also has the effect of controlling anxiety and reducing the severity of the symptoms of depressions. Moreover, endocannabinoids help to reduce the amount of pain that you feel, plus they can also increase your mood too.
Soccer is also great in terms of improving your cognitive abilities, especially your abilities to reason, think quick, and solve problems. Soccer involves always coming up with new plans and reacting extremely quickly to whatever happens on the field, thus training your brain to be better able to deal with problems in a reasonable time frame.
As you can see, this fantastic sport has various different benefits, all of which will lead to a happier and healthier life. Things like a healthy cardiovascular system, strong bones, and even stronger muscles all go a long way in providing you with the long and healthy life that we all want. We’re sure that there are even more benefits than we have listed, but these are definitely the 9 most important benefits of soccer that we could come up with. If you want to be healthier, happier, smarter, and make some new friends too, soccer is a great way to accomplish all of those things!